• The Power of Habit

  • Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change
  • By: Charles Duhigg
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 04-05-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 4.4 (413 ratings)

Regular price: $23.44

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Publisher's Summary

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distil vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation. Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation's largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.
At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Habits aren't destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
©2012 Charles Duhigg (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"It’s a fascinating insight into making and breaking habits and offers practical advice, funny stories and critical thinking." ( Press Association)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Udo on 04-05-13

Only stories, no evidence

This book is from beginning to the end an example for all kind of cognitive fallacies and biases.

Don't get me wrong:
I believe that most of the author's hypotheses are true. But, the author does a very poor job of showing convincing evidence for his hypotheses.

You encounter instead hindsight bias, availability bias, non-sequiturs and anecdotal evidence.

For example, the author gives several examples of success stories, like "CEO "x" was very successful. CEO "x" used to do "y". Therefore, doing "y" is the reason why CEO "x" was successful. "

What about all the other CEOs who did "y" but weren't successful?
What else did CEO "x" do? Maybe one of THOSE things also contributed to the success as well?

I found myself repeatedly saying: "You cannot conclude that from what you just told me!"

Only few examples are given, where a scientific approach and unbiased logic were used.

I also think, that some anecdotes lighten up the flow of a non-fiction-book.
But an entire book full of anecdotes?

Furthermore, most of the stories are soooo tedious. E.g. I had to fast forward the story about this coach guy....

Also, I found the narrator a little bit annoying: in my opinion there was too much over-emphasizing and dramatization.

Over all, I regret the time for listening to this book.

I give two stars instead of just one star, because the hypotheses shown in this book are very interesting.

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19 of 21 people found this review helpful

By Hamada on 08-28-13

I want more

Where does The Power of Habit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

it is probably in the top 10%

Any additional comments?

The book is such a tease!! hold on, it is probably not fair to say that. the book is really valuable it offers great insight into the mind and how it works, into how habits form. but I need more.

1) there is so much around us that take advantage of how habits form, in a way that is sometimes (in my view) unethical. it makes me question a lot of the marketing that takes place. also made me wonder who has access to my habits and how do they use it. SCARY

2) the book offers no recipe for change. it tells you change is possible, it tells you the ingredients of the habit which can be potentially used for affecting change but it still leaves you wondering how to portion out the ingredients. not intentionally but just because of the nature of habit and the nature of individuals and how divers they are. it makes me want more.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Paul on 10-08-12

I stopped biting my nails

It's now about a month since finishing the book, and I still haven't bitten my nails! That's pretty awesome if you ask me.

Don't be put off by the whining of Mike Chamberlain's narration. Yes, it's very American and nasal, but you soon get used to it. It's worth it for the content, I promise. It would seem out-of-context to deliver self-improvement material in any other accent.

I love the notions and ideas within this book. Personally, a single driver to explain all human behaviour is an appealing concept to me. Of course it can't account for the bursts of creative flair, or capricious emotion that humans sometime display. But by the end of the book, it's hammered home that EVERYTHING is down to habit. And I believe a very large part of human nature is.

The sections about keystone habits are useful and intriguing. There are many case studies, how a football team was turned from underdog to Super Bowl winner, how Starbucks train their staff, why the Kings Cross tube station fire happened, and how you can change your life and more.

All of these rather disparate and sensational events were ALL DOWN to habits! A beautiful, singular theory, but left me wanting to corroborate these events. The book is called The Power Of Habit, so its no wonder all the chapters build on each other to prove the gravity of such power.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing. A book should encourage you to go out and study the the subject further, or research the authour and his findings.

If you love self-help books, or want to change some habits of your own, then this book is a must.

I look at Starbucks in a completely different light now. (Will just go and check if Charles Duhigg is on the board ;-) )

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35 of 36 people found this review helpful

By Mark Pack on 07-22-12

Appendix missing

Something to watch out for if you buy this audio version: when I got it, the book's Appendix ("A Reader's Guide to Using These Ideas') was missing.

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82 of 87 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Steve on 08-06-16

A collection of research stories

I listened to this expectantly looking forward to how the principals could be applied, excited by the stories of success. Finally, a brief appendix at the end of the book outlined how to apply them. It's a good book if you enjoy hearing about research stories and scientific evidence for the principal of habit forming, but the stories are long winded and way too detailed. More like a story book than anything else, don't buy if you want principals and techniques for results. There are actual techniques that could have been included, such as starting tiny habits and make your trigger something simple. I returned the book as it was not what I was looking for. Maybe I had the wrong ideas about the book before reading it, but don't buy if you want practical and helpful suggestions for taking action. Great however if you want the evidence on habit formation and how it contributes to success.

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24 of 25 people found this review helpful

By Christine on 06-23-15

Simply brilliant

I loved this book. It gave real life examples and help me understand myself. I then went onto buy Gretchen Rubin's book "Better than before, mastering the habits of our everyday lives" and I'm hooked. It gives you clarity and control on habits that before I thought were just random.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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